Xcel Energy announced details about new wind farms and the next phase in its plans for one of the nation’s largest wind-power investments.
By adding 1,550 MW of new wind generation in the Upper Midwest, the proposal is Xcel Energy’s largest to date with a total of seven wind farms to be built in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.
The project will grow the company’s regional wind portfolio by 60% while providing enough energy to power more than 800,000 homes.
“This investment in renewable energy keeps bills low for customers while giving them the clean energy they want and helping us achieve 63% carbon-free energy by 2030,” said Chris Clark, President, Xcel Energy-Minnesota. “Wind energy is at historically low prices right now so we’re able to reduce emissions while securing long-term cost savings for our customers.”
Xcel Energy is proposing a combination of owned projects and power-purchase agreements, representing more than $2.5 billion in capital investments. Xcel Energy estimates that the proposed wind projects will save more than $4 billion in fuel and other costs, over the life of the projects.
Advances in turbine technology, improved wind forecasting, and a newly expanded transmission system play a role in the ability to build new wind farms.
“We’re significantly increasing the amount of wind generation on our system in part due to the recent completion of Midwest transmission projects that connect wind-rich areas to our customers,” said Clark.
The 750 MW of self-build projects (proposed in October 2016) include:
- Freeborn Wind Energy, a 200-MW project located in Freeborn County, Minnesota, and Worth and Mitchell Counties, Iowa developed by Invenergy
- Foxtail Wind, a 150-MW project located in Dickey County, North Dakota, developed by NextEra Energy Resources
- Blazing Star 1, a 200-MW project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo
- Energy Blazing Star 2, a 200-MW project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo
The 800-MW of newly proposed projects include:
- Crowned Ridge Wind Project, a 300-MW build-own-transfer project and a 300-MW purchased power agreement. The project will be located in Codington, Deuel and Grant Counties, South Dakota, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy.
- Lake Benton Wind Project, a 100-MW build-own-transfer project in Pipestone County, Minnesota, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy.
- Clean Energy 1, a 100-MW power purchase agreement project in Morton and Mercer Counties, North Dakota, developed by ALLETE Clean Energy.
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